Bothma to debut for Vodacom Blue Bulls
Namibian World Cup star Renaldo Bothma will make his Vodacom Blue Bulls debut on Saturday when the Pretoria side takes on EP Kings in Port Elizabeth in the Currie Cup Qualifying tournament.
The abrasive Bothma, who had provincial stints with the Golden Lions, Leopards, Pumas and Sharks prior to the 2015 RWC, joined the Vodacom Bulls squad earlier this year, although injured at the time. He is fully fit now and keen to make an impression against the Port Elizabeth team.
Coach Hendré Marnitz made a number of changes to the side that came up short against the Xerox Golden Lions in Alberton two weeks ago.
The likes of JT Jackson, Duncan Naude, Manie Libbok and Aston Fortuin are training with the Junior Springboks with only Libbok and Fortuin included on the bench. Duncan Matthews starts at fullback in place of Libbok, while Alcino Isaacs and Adrian Maebane comes in for Jackson and Naude.
Bothma's inclusion will see Ruan Steenkamp (pictured above) move to flank in a new combination with Nic de Jager. Freddy Ngoza moves to the bench and Tsomondo drops out.
Tighthead prop Dayan van Der Westhuizen will start in the front row and replace injured Entienne Swanepoel. A new face on the bench is winger Duhan van der Merwe, while former Bok Dean Greyling is also fit again and will play off the bench.
Marnitz conceded the need for a good result.
"One win from four starts is not great and we know it. We have not found the consistency in our play that we need, but I am pleased with the way we trained and prepared. We will give it a good go and I am confident that we will be very competitive in Port Elizabeth."
Kick-off is at 14h15
The Vodacom Blue Bulls team to play EP Kings are: Duncan Matthews, Kefentse Mahlo, Alcino Isaacs, Adrian Maebane, Jade Stighlingh, Joshua Stander, Ivan van Zyl, Renaldo Bothma, Nic de Jager, Ruan Steenkamp, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Abongile Nonkontwana, Dayan van der Westhuizen, Corniel Els, Nqobisizwe Mxoli. Replacements: Jan van der Merwe, Dean Greyling, Aston Fortuin, Freddy Ngoza, Andre Warner, Manie Libbok, Duhan van der Merwe.